Culture, Color and a Global Gathering at Gawai Festival

Culture, Color and a Global Gathering at Gawai Festival

Story by STEPHANIE BROOKES Photos by DAVID METCALF I stood with my blowpipe at the ready. “Gather strength from your core and aim high,” Agus advised. “We are excited to have an Australian team enter the competition and best of luck to you”, he added with a broad...
Into the Wilds – Sabangau National Park

Into the Wilds – Sabangau National Park

I started my trek in the Sabangau National Park, Central Kalimantan under a veil of darkness.  The earthy smell of the peat bog forest rose sharply to greet me as I held my torch steady so as not to trip and fall into the organic black water swamp that lay on either...

Festival of Colour

 FESTIVAL OF COLOUR  I arrived late in the evening to catch the Prince and Princess Tourism Competition. Suddenly chairs were parted and bodies shifted to make room for me in the front row. I was ordered to sit here, by one of the Dayak ladies, so I quickly took my...
Nomads of the Sea

Nomads of the Sea

I sat talking with Asman, an ethnic Bajau Palauk on his wooden fishing boat as sea cucumbers dried on the upper deck and we spoke about his seafaring life. “We love to be on the ocean. The ocean is our land. We feel very happy and content and it is all we know. My two...
Discovering Orangutans

Discovering Orangutans

A journey on the Rungan River, Central Kalimantan allows you to explore primate country, experience traditional village life on the river and have contact with the local Dayak culture in a pristine jungle environment, with no other tourists around. Gaye and Lorna, the...
West Kalimantan – Karimata Islands

West Kalimantan – Karimata Islands

Pontianak in West Kalimantan is the starting point for a trip to the Karimata Islands. The bustling harbour is alive with activity and home to a myriad of traditional boats. After stepping down from the pier, I had to scramble across a number of unseasworthy looking...
An Interview with Kinari Webb

An Interview with Kinari Webb

Saving Lives and Rainforest An Interview with Kinari Webb, MD of ASRI Medical Clinic, West Kalimantan How does a remote medical clinic, in West Kalimantan, come up with ideas like “payment in kind”, a non-cash exchange for medicine and life-saving treatments? What is...
Into the heart of Borneo

Into the heart of Borneo

What is a New Zealand photographer doing with a documentary film crew in a longboat in the wilderness in Borneo? David Metcalf is passionate about the Dayak people of Borneo (Kalimantan) and has spent years exploring the outer reaches of one of the most ecologically...
The plaited craft

The plaited craft

As mina (aunty) Herta sat on the wooden floor of her humble weathered eighty-year-old home, she flexed her big toe and masterfully plaited three strands of rattan.  This would soon become a handle for the rice basket she was making. Between the strands of a woven...

Orangutan Adventure

Orangutan Adventure I spotted my first orangutan high up in the trees in the early morning. I heard it before I saw it. I awoke to branches cracking and some pretty furious tree-shaking going on. Lucky for me I was on a boat, at a safe distance from the huge, hairy,...